I Signed Up For Verizon DSL Back In September. They Forgot That I Exist.

Heather signed up for Verizon DSL service at her new place last September. So she’s been enjoying several months of cost-effective Internet service by now, right? Not exactly. Her story is a perfect illustration of why it is that monopolies can make customers miserable. The scheduled installation technician never showed up, troubleshooting of her service didn’t work, and when she tried to set up service again months later, they misplaced her account and kept hanging up on her.

I originally signed up for Verizon’s DSL internet to be installed at my new apartment last September. They sent me the modem in the mail and insisted that I needed to schedule a technician to come out and install it. I knew I didn’t need a technician but since they wouldn’t place the order without it I finally gave in and scheduled a day for the tech to come out. I took the day off that the tech should have been there because they said that he should be there between 8 and 5. I called throughout the day to make sure I was, in fact, on the schedule but at the end of the day he never came. I called once more only to find out that there was never a technician scheduled to come to my apartment. Out of frustration I fumbled through the process of setting up the modem myself. It wasn’t difficult to set up but their website was kind of confusing. I did manage to get the internet working though for about two days.

At that point, the internet stopped working and I had to call to troubleshoot the problem with tech support. After two days they were unable to get it fixed so I finally gave up and cancelled my account. I decided to use the mobile hot spot with my cell phone provider instead.

Now, in January, I have found out that the mobile hot spot is no longer going to be an option so I thought that I would try, one more time, to get Verizon to turn on my service since I still had the modem. After calling customer service, I was first told that I had to set up a new account. Ok, that was not a problem. The customer service representative said she had to run my credit (which was weird because I never had to do this the first time I set it up). After running my credit she then told me that she would have to connect me to someone else to finish the order. At that point, she transferred me to tech support, which had nothing to do with the problem.

The rep, who was named [A], was very nice and tried to help me but eventually he didn’t know what to do and ended up transferring me back to a salesperson. At this point I had been on the phone for an hour and a half just trying to get Verizon to basically reinstate my old account but no one could do it.

This girl was rude from the beginning of the call and refused to help me at all. She tried to tell me that she was going to have to run my credit AGAIN in order to set up the account. I told her that it had already been done and she said it didn’t matter, that she would have to do it again. I told her that this would negatively affect my credit and asked why it was not in her system from the previous person doing it an hour before. She told me that their system doesn’t keep information in it once the credit check has been run, which makes no sense at all. She also claimed that she could not find my previous account information in her system because I had an account that was now closed. I asked her to speak with a supervisor and she flat out refused to allow me to speak with one because I was technically not a customer because I didn’t have an active account. I told her that I didn’t have an active account because Verizon was never able to get the service to work!!

Basically, I cannot submit any pictures for you because the only thing I got from Verizon was a modem. I never got any account information from them and they refuse to tell me my account number now. Also, the first person who ran my credit set up and then cancelled an order for service but I have no idea what service it was for. The representative would not give me any information about it because it was not an active order.

Out of all the times I called about this issue, I was hung up on at least 7 times. One time I was put on hold for an hour without the representative checking on me and forced to hang up and call back and once the representative said flat out, “I’m sorry but we have been on the phone for 45 minutes and I am going to have to hang up now.” After not helping me at all.

This is a classic example of a case where a customer would like to give a company money, but the company just isn’t interested in taking it. Sometimes Verizon is responsive to executive e-mail carpet bombs: but it sounds like they don’t really want Heather’s money in the first place.


Edit Your Comment

  1. GMFish says:

    Verizon is in the business of marketing services such as DSL. Actually selling, installing, and ensuring that such services work have all been outsourced to third parties who don’t give a sh#t.

    • ogman says:

      After the very similar experience that I had this morning, I believe you are completely correct. I’ve never experienced such horrible customer service.

  2. Rainicorn with baby bats says:

    She cancelled her account in September and wanted to reinstate it in January?
    I would have gone to a physical store after trying to call so many times and being disappointed.

    • kc2idf says:

      Would it help? If the product were portable, she could confirm it works before she leaves the store, but for a home-installed service, you’re at their mercy to actually get there and do the work.

  3. Marlin says:


  4. Rachacha says:

    So the OP had a problem with Verizon, canceled the service, decided to try Verizon again, continued to have problems and called 7+ times and is still not any closer to a resolution. It is time to just stop dealing with Verizon and try another provider.

    At my old house, I had a problem with Verizon not knowing where I lived. After some investigation, I figured out that the problem was my phone number was somehow still affiliated with the old owner of the number who lived at a different address. The billing office knew where I lived, but Tech support thought that I was about 8 miles away.

    • SerenityDan says:

      I guess you missed the part about Verizon having a monopoly there.

      • Rachacha says:

        The OP’s letter says nothing about a Monopoly. Consumerist implied they were a monopoly, so the OP should try contacting a Cable TV provider or an independent DSL provider like DSL Extreme, or Netzero or similar. If she went with an independent DSL provider, they would be the ones having to interface with Verizon, and she could avoid all of the hassle.

  5. minnock says:

    Almost exactly the same thing happened to me, as a result I:

    1. Cancelled Verizon cell phone and moved to another provider who has been very good – T-Mobile.

    2. Moved into a new home with FiOS run to the home. I have ignored the semi-annual knocks on the door from Verizon salesmen and the constant flood of mailers.

    The inability to handle what should be a simple transaction has cost Verizon a conservative $7920 in the three years since that debacle.

    • Kaleey says:

      Yep. that’s the solution – move to a new home.

      Kinda doubt that that’s going to fly. While that worked for you (since I would assume you didn’t move *just* because of Verizon wireless, I’m sure there were other factors), maybe she can’t move right now, but she still needs internet access and she won’t be able to receive it through her mobile hotspot anymore.

      Granted, I’d probably give up on them as well, and either find a new mobile hotspot option, or learn where free wifi is available in the area, but if that’s not an option, sounds like she’s ran the CSR gauntlet enough. If she can’t reach a supervisor, then I suggest the EECB.

      Strange that Verizon just doesn’t want her account – I’d figure they’d only have a problem getting the tech out there. They’d probably sign up my dog for an account if I let her talk on the phone.

    • GrandizerGo says:

      Who else is doing Fios in your neighborhood?
      Around here, Fios IS Verizon.
      So why you would ignore their knocks on the door???

  6. DrPizza says:

    When I was looking at houses, we found one in a rural area that we liked. I checked to see if cable was available. Called the local cable company, and no, cable wasn’t available. I checked with Verizon to see if DSL was available (told them that I wasn’t signing up now; but was considering purchasing the house at that address. Verizon said “yes!” Good, I’ll have broadband; put in the purchase offer, bought the house. Called Verizon to schedule the DSL installation. “We’re sorry, we don’t have DSL available to that location.” “When will it be available?” “April.” I should have nailed down “April of which year.” I kept asking about DSL; eventually an honest rep told me, “we have no plans of ever having DSL available to you. We’re rolling out fiber now, and are starting with metropolitan areas.”

    • speaky2k says:

      This sounds like it could be something I had to deal with:
      I was living at home before getting my own place and had DSL and a separate phone line. When I left my parents didn’t need or want internet. After a while they decided they did so I contacted Verizon to set up the account. Verizon tells me that DSL is not available at that address, even though 2 years earlier I had it at that address and my parent’s neighbor has it. A year or so later after checking the address every few weeks, it comes up as available again so I get it for my parents as a Christmas present and help them set it up.

  7. Hi_Hello says:

    OP got screwed in both situation but how come OP never returned the modem when she cancel her account the first time?

    • Kaleey says:

      Maybe she bought it? I still have my modem from Insight Cable, though I haven’t had an account for 2+ years.

      • Hi_Hello says:

        even if she bought it, most of them have a 30 day money back guarantee.

        I’m not blaming OP, but I think her first account was never fully active or cancel which is confused Verizon when she try to get DSL a second time.

    • Jawaka says:

      You purchase modems from AT&T when you set up service, not rent them

  8. NashuaConsumerist says:

    Oh trust me, they want the money, they just don’t want to provide anything in return.

  9. Hi_Hello says:

    switch cell phone provider that offer mobile hot spot. or fine another mobile hot spot.

    check out clear. they are find if you don’t reach 20GB a month.

  10. vorpalette says:

    Doesn’t the tech who comes out to “install” also have to connect the service for your apartment? It’s not just a matter of hooking up your modem and whatnot. When we had Charter come out, he had to get up in the attic space in our building and connect the cables running to our apartment to their service.

    • SabreDC says:

      Yes, they usually have to perform some work in the telephone closet of the apartment building. The “scheduled install” isn’t an installation of your modem itself, but rather the DSL service to your apartment from the trunk.

      • vorpalette says:

        Right, so when the tech never came out, and she plugged in her modem herself, she obviously wouldn’t have any service (barring the odd two days she was connected).

  11. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    If there were a business model in which Verizon could take people’s money, but never interact with them or do any kind of work for them, they’d be all over it.

    …hang on a tic…

  12. BrownLeopard says:

    Gee, I wonder if TelePerformance in Columbus, Ohio still does their DSL support. This could be a reason for part of her issues.

  13. kc2idf says:

    This surprises me in no way, except for the part when she actually got service for two days.

    I was a regular on verizoneatspoop.com (when that site was still active) for the five or six months when I was trying to get DSL service.

    I have done everything in my power since then to purge Verizon out of my life. The only reason I have even considered letting them back in is because my current ISP supports SOPA.

  14. dush says:

    So they got two days of service but never any bill?

  15. Pella says:

    From the perspective of someone who worked for a telecommunications company (NOT Verizon), here are some explanations, even if they aren’t helpful.

    I suspect Verizon’s policies on setting up new accounts changed, like it did with the company I worked for. We were having too many people skip out on their bills, so we started to do credit checks before opening new accounts. This type of policy has to start sometime, so it isn’t fair to say they shouldn’t need to do one because they didn’t do one before.

    There are several reasons a technician may need to visit your home, and not all of them actually mean they will be setting up your modem for you. There is wiring elsewhere in the building that may need to be connected to make your service work. While the reps shouldn’t have told you that you needed to be home, it is very easy to get the types of appointments mixed up. A technician likely did visit your building, or the CO Box nearby to get things hooked up, or else your service wouldn’t likely have worked, even for those 2 days.

    Also, for the record, if an account is not properly created, there is no record made of the credit check that was run. Heck, even if the account is properly made, sometimes it isn’t linked up properly.

    They are usually SOFT credit checks which do not affect your credit score at all.

  16. HalOfBorg says:

    How much wiring is there to set up DSL except a phone line near the PC? I assume there is an outlet (since computer sort of need those).

    You connect the modem to the phone line, connect the PC to the modem, MAYBE reboot the PC. (Routers and such – OK, more work)

    Put DSL filters on all the other phone jacks.

    Open your internet browser and let it sit there a bit, maybe open it again. My modem phoned home and downloaded the setup. All I needed was my username and password.

  17. Lyn Torden says:

    Heather needs to pull her credit report and dispute the credit pull that Verizon did. If Verizon “confirms” the credit pull, then she has a right to sue them for fraud. The basis is that she authorized the credit pull ONLY for the purpose of obtaining service, and they refused to do so without any explanation of why.

    I suspect they didn’t like her credit score or something. FYI, people who pay up every month actually have lower scores because such people are not good marks for big business that gets rich on late fees, etc. This is the way the entire credit card business operates (if you regularly avoid fees, they don’t want you as a customer). I’m not surprised the phone and cable companies are switch to this business model, too.

    • Hotscot says:

      “FYI, people who pay up every month actually have lower scores”


      • vivalakellye says:

        Yeah, seriously. My father has a REALLY low credit card limit–not because he’s financially irresponsible, but because he pays his entire bill every single month and never maxes out his available credit.

  18. Hotscot says:

    True story.

    When transferring our service Verizon “accidentally” cancelled it.
    It took 10 days of calls and anger and tears to get them to reinstate it but they couldn’t give us our email addresses back since they were “in use” by someone else. Yes us!

    Then they treated it like a new installation, a two week waiting list for a tech.

    Eventually it was re-installed.

    I wrote an email to them a month later complaining that they had cancelled my service.

    The response?

    “We are so sorry you had trouble cancelling your service so we’ve gone ahead and done it for you.”…and they proceeded to cancel it.

    There is a circle of hell for deliberately dumb people.

  19. beer4me says:

    hang up and try again?

  20. u1itn0w2day says:

    Because of the big corporation big union enviorment that lurks Verizon the that’s not my job syndrome prevails.

  21. ThunderRoad says:

    Open a case with the public utilities commission. May not do anything, but Verizon will be forced to respond.

  22. chavo5 says:

    A long time ago I tried to get verizon DSL as well. Heres my oh so entertaining story of why I will never give verizon another dime.

    After self installation it didnt work so I called to get a verizon DSL tech to fix it. After he poked around my house for an hour or so he determined the problem was with my local telephone service, also verizon, and I would need my local telephone company to service the line. I then set up an appointment with verizon local to come out and check to make sure everything was alright; after an hour (and another day of missed work) I was told everything should work fine. Without saying it goes that the internet in fact did not work and I would have to call verizon DSL again because verizon local did not know how to diagnose the problem. Second time verizon DSL comes to my house the same thing happens as the first, he pokes around my house for an hour or so and says its the local phone company not verizon DSL which is causing these problems. Trying to out think verizon I set up a appointment with both verizon local and verizon DSL and as luck would have it they showed up with in 15 minutes of each other (I should have bought a lottery ticket that day, it would have won) the two techs spent damn near 3 hours trying to figure it out and at the end they had no idea why the internet wasnt working, both were convinced it was something to do with the others system but neither had any idea what was wrong.

    After going about 3 weeks without internet and having to miss 4 days of work I told the verizon DSL guy to take the equipment with him and canceled my account on the spot. Been using comcast (its the only other decent option in the area) and have been lucky enough to go problem free for several years now.

  23. Emily says:

    Yep, that’s Verizon all right. Soviet Russia crossed with the fifth circle of Hell.

  24. sqeelar says:

    I signed up in 1999. Still haven’t heard back, although there were three exciting days where I expected an installer or phone call. Then I went to work for the phone company’s research lab. They said the experience was quite common. Never got DSL.

  25. Conformist138 says:

    This is Cartmanland and YOU can’t get in!

  26. swehrung says:

    This sounds almost as bad as the customer service experience I had when attempting to cancel Verizon DSL service because I was moving out of my apartment. The problem was that I had signed up for “dry line” DSL service. Since I didn’t have any Verizon telephone number for this account (since I only had DSL), I couldn’t get past the first “firewall” when calling Verizon. Instead of transferring me to a central operator who could get me to the correct department, my calls were repeatedly bounced from office to office, and I repeatedly got disconnected. Overall, it took hours to finally get through to Verizon, over a period of days and multiple phone calls to multiple numbers. I would never do business with this company again.